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G20 Blog (41)

Thursday, 06 July 2017 16:54

G20 commitment to Africa

This year Germany has made Africa the focus of its G20 presidency through its Compact with Africa and the Marshall Plan for the continent, which together aim to create a more sustainable environment for private sector participation in African economies.
Thursday, 02 July 2015 11:09

BRICS Materials 2015

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Leaders from the BRICS countries - Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa - will meet on 8-9 July 2015 in the Russian city of Ufa. Many key developments are expected to arise from the Summit, which takes place as Russia’s relationship with the United States and its European allies worsens, while its ties to BRICS appear to have become closer.
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 19:24

Nene faces toughest test yet

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South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene is facing his biggest baptism of fire yet when he delivers his maiden National Budget speech on Wednesday, as the country desperately needs him to plug the gap between national spending and revenue. South Africa’s debt trend is not sustainable.
Without question South Africa remains a vibrant, complicated and seemingly a growing troubled land. My colleagues from the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) one of the premiere think tanks in South Africa and the University of Pretoria, particularly the Department of Political Science there brought together some of their South African colleagues with experts from a number of countries for a conference (December 4th-5th) titled “Alliances Beyond BRICS: South Africa’s Role in Global Economic Governance”. 
Monday, 01 December 2014 16:17

The G-20 Tax Agenda and Africa's Needs

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The importance of taxation goes far beyond providing income to finance the public sector, investments, and the basic needs of the population. The establishment of states is partly attributed to the tax system which has also contributed to promoting the state’s legitimacy, strengthening democracy, as well as to creating economic well-being for the general population.
For global governance watchers, last week was the big week of the year. Between 7 November and 16 November, the world witnessed an APEC meeting in Yanqi Lake near Beijing complete with a bilateral China–Japan ‘breakthrough’ and a major US–China climate deal; an historic ASEAN and East Asia Summit held in Naypidaw, Myanmar; and a colourful G-20 meeting in Brisbane, Australia.
The Group of 20 (G-20) will hold its ninth Leaders Summit in Brisbane, Australia next week.  Around the table are expected to be three African Heads of State from South Africa, Mauritania and Senegal. South Africa is the only permanent African member of this prestigious group that is the self-styled pre-eminent forum on global economic governance issues.
Group of 20 (G-20) Summits are a magnet for expectations. Ever since the grouping was formed in the turbulent early days of the 2008 global financial crisis major stakeholders have pinned many hopes on the ability of the group to steer the globe back to growth.
As the only African member of the G-20, South Africa carries the weight not only of its own national interests but of being a voice for the concerns of African and low-income countries. While South Africa has no official mandate to represent anyone but itself, there is implicit pressure to ensure that those countries and institutions who participate in the G-20 processes at least understand how some their decisions might impact upon African non-members.
South Africa’s current growth rate, and trajectory, is weak. Global circumstances, notably our exposure to continued European stagnation and financial market tapering by the US Federal Reserve Bank, are partly to blame. Structural conditions, particularly continued commodity dependence, weak manufacturing capacity, skills shortages, and infrastructure bottlenecks, also play a role.
For some the Group of 20 (G20) is synonymous with political symbolism, for others the G-20 yields much influence in setting agendas for the global economy through the framing of discourses and the prioritisation of some ideas and policies over others. For South Africa, being the only African member of the G-20 brings with it the – at times, burdening – ‘first in Africa’ label. Although internationally of relatively small economic and political weight, South Africa is an African power, and it has taken on a related representative role within the G-20.
South Africa is the only African member of the Group of 20 (G-20) and therefore carries the weight not only of its own national interests but of being a voice for the concerns of African and low income countries. While South Africa has no official mandate to represent anyone but itself, there is implicit pressure to ensure that those countries and institutions who participate in the G-20 processes at least understand some of the impacts that their decisions might have on African non-members.
In the latest in our series on African membership of the Group of 20 (G-20), Ebere Uneze, the Executive Director of the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa, responds that although the G-20 does need to include more African members, Nigeria may not be the best fit.
I was caught by the discussion in this morning’s New York Times in the "Room for Debate" section. Several old friends from global summitry analyses and a few new acquaintances set out their opinions on whether to kick Russia out of the Group of 8 (G-8) or not.
The Group of 20 (G-20) was formed in 1999 after the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998. It was formed by the world's most influential countries with a view to reforming the global financial architecture, with the intent that this would prevent a similar crisis happening in future. The G-7 would emerge to be the nucleus of the G-20 grouping. In order to arrive at twenty members the remainder had to be selected from economies which were influential in terms of size and/or geopolitical significance.It is in this context that Argentina - whose economy was doing quite well at the time…
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 14:46

Should Australia Change the Membership of the G-20

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One of the issues which Australia should address during its presidency of the G-20 is the group's membership. It is the same today as when Canadian finance minister Paul Martin launched it after the East Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. It includes the old industrial nations and several prominent developing countries. They collectively encompass 90% of global GDP and 80% of world trade.
Discussions in Group of 20 (G-20) meetings over the last several years have increasingly focused on the need for a huge scale-up in infrastructure investments in developing countries, particularly through large regional projects involving private sector participation.
Global agricultural trade policies and food systems, including the new value chains narrative, advance high and sustained productivity to cushion against unpredictable markets and volatile food prices, as well as growing commercialisation of biofuels from food crops, but most importantly for satisfying increased consumer demands and food security requirements. Advocacy claims for increased productivity are in contrast to food-activism views that even current global agricultural production and distribution, if re-allocated in the absence of distortions, would be more than adequate for all these purposes.
Below is a summary of a report from the GG2022 working group on global development governance. To explore possible futures in global development, the working group used a scenario planning methodology with techniques developed extensively in the field of future studies. The diverse nationalities, backgrounds, and expertise of working group members contributed crucial assets for devising national strategies and solutions.
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 09:38

What are the prospects for success at the G-20?

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Group of 20 (G-20) leaders gather in St Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday 5 September. Global crisis is in the air again, this time centred on emerging markets; in principle, this is a circumstance that is tailor-made for this forum. What are the prospects for success at the G-20 — and with what implications for South Africa?
Friday, 23 August 2013 11:41

G20 and India

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The G20 had played a key role in responding to the global financial crisis of 2008-09. During and after the global financial crisis of 2008, while advanced economies experienced dwindling growth, India was one of the countries that continued to grow. Also, India has not been a contributor to the global imbalances.By virtue of these, India has emerged as an important member of G20 to be able to influence and contribute towards the reshaping of the world economic and financial order. Thus, it is of utmost importance that India must bring to the table its own assessment of the G20…
The Finance Ministers and Central Bankers of the G20 met as scheduled in Moscow last month.  This periodic meeting is just a part, though a key part, of the “iceberg” that is global summitry today.  A fascinating factoid – this meeting of “finance” officials does not generally include the central bank officials when it gathers at the actual G20 Leaders Summit.  Given the key role that central bankers have been playing in trying to “right” the global economy, that probably should come to an end.  But in any case their communiqué underlined the Iceberg Theory that I and others have…
The political dimensions of Russia hosting the G20 in September are generally overlooked, but they deserve more attention. The success of the St. Petersburg meeting is very important to Russia politically, and to President Vladimir Putin personally. Putin would like to show Russians that he is a world-class leader and that Russia should be taken seriously. He wants to use the summit to demonstrate that he can make a positive contribution to the governance of the global economy. Putin’s desire to use the G20 meeting for his own political validation provides other members of the G20 with some leverage.
The first Civil 20 Summit was opened on June 13 in Moscow by the co-chairperson of the C20, Elena Topoleva and a welcome address from President Putin was read by Ksenia Yudaeva, Russian G20 Sherpa and Chief of Presidential Experts’ Directorate.
Rice was a crisis commodity in 2008.  Something like 2 billion people rely on rice as a daily staple and prices were spiraling out of control.  Rice prices were one of the most dramatic features of the “global food price crisis” that exploded into headlines, caused riots in many developing countries, and alarm among political leaders across the world in 2007 and 2008.
G20 finance ministers and central bank governors held their second meeting under the Russian presidency on April 17-18, 2013, as part of the semi-annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. Chaired by Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov, the meeting featured relative newcomers from its three largest members: Jacob Lew, now confirmed as Treasury Secretary of the United States; new Chinese finance minister Lou Jiwei; and Japan's new central bank governor Haruhiko Kuroda, attending his first such meeting; and Japan's finance minister Taro Aso, who as deputy prime minister also met on the sidelines with U.S. vice-president…
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 11:13

I approve of the priorities that Russia has chosen

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Peter Draper, Senior Research Fellow in the Economic Diplomacy program at the South African Institute of International Affairs, is convinced that the introduction of protectionist measures goes against the interests of the G20 countries, and an independent evaluation could play an important role here.* * *Question: Could a peer review of protectionist measures become a credible mechanism to ensure further trade liberalization?Peter Draper: Yes. There is already a peer review process, coordinated by the WTO secretariat in cooperation with the OECD. It reviews protectionist measures in the G20, for G20 meetings. That has been going for some time now and…
The first Annual "G20 and Africa" Conference was hosted on 10 December 2012 by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the International Development Law Unit in the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (UP).This conference was organised as part of SAIIA and UP’s Global Economic Governance (GEG) Project, which seeks to ensure that African interests are understood and effectively represented in the various global forums that debate and set rules in global economics, markets and institutions.South Africa is the only African member of the G20, the leading forum for international economic co-operation. As the sole African…
Tuesday, 18 December 2012 09:56

G20 – African Food Security Agenda Under Test

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Agricultural development in Africa is key, if the continent is to adequately feed its expanding population. But how can the productivity of African farmland be increased?I posed the question to Cerkia Bramley, a Food Researcher in the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Wellbeing in the University of Pretoria in a recent visit to South Africa. “The G20 should tailor programs that push for Agricultural subsidy in the continent of Africa because we have realized that structural adjustments in the continent will first scrap off Agricultural subsidy”, she responded.Earlier, Bramley told the First Annual African G20 Conference in Centurion, South Africa…
Extract from a speech by Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator "It is not difficult to draw up an inventory of global institutions and mechanisms which are struggling to reach decisions": The veto power in the UN Security Council can be a block to decisive action.The annual meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have often struggled to reach agreement.The UN Commission on the Status of Women failed to produce an agreed outcome this year.The Commission on Sustainable Development ended its nineteenth session, in May 2011, unable to agree on policy decisions on…
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